What sets Rhys Hoskins apart from the MLB’s other first basemen?
Regardless if you are a Rhys Hoskins supporter or not, most signs point to him returning to the Phillies in 2023 and beyond. The right-handed slugger does have something working in his favor, however — making it unlikely he leaves Philadelphia.
Finding an everyday starter in Major League Baseball is not an easy thing. Getting rid of Hoskins could potentially create a hole at first base that the Phillies spend the next decade trying to fill. The Phillies are contenders to win the World Series again in 2023 — now that they’ve proven they can reach the Fall Classic. They have added superstar shortstop Trea Turner for the next 11 years, and creating a hole where they have a solid player raises more questions than answers.
There is also the issue of money. The Phillies have already allocated more than $130 million every year for their payroll through 2025, and $50 million through 2027 according to Spotrac.com. Managing Partner John Middleton and President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski “breaking the bank” further for a first baseman seems unlikely, especially with a bullpen that has been shaky for the past five seasons.
Hoskins’ contract wouldn’t come with the $25 million or more annual price tag associated with the premier first-base contracts of players such as Freddie Freeman or Paul Goldschmidt. Instead, a deal for Hoskins would likely be around six years and have an average annual value that falls more within the range of $18 million to $22 million.
This wouldn’t be a bad deal for a player who bats .242/.353/.492 in his career and hit 30 home runs in 2022. Hoskins may not be a Gold Glove winner or a Silver Slugger, but he doesn’t need to be. Hoskins is a perfect complement to the rest of the Phillies’ roster. Being able to boast better bats — such as Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, J.T. Realmuto, and Kyle Schwarber — is more telling of the Phillies’ abundance of talent in their bats than it is of Hoskins’ ability.
Overall, Hoskins returning to the Phillies on a long-term deal in 2024 hinges heavily on how he performs in 2023. But, if the home-grown talent can continue the ability to launch baseballs that he displayed in the postseason, Hoskins could become a career-long member of the Phillies.